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Encyclopedia of Exploration Invented and Apocryphal Narratives of Travel Hardcover – May 1, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1875567690 ISBN-10: 1875567690 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 543 pages
  • Publisher: Hordern House; 1st edition (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1875567690
  • ISBN-13: 978-1875567690
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,234,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Raymond Howgego is an independent researcher, scholar and traveller, who has been researching the history of exploration for much of his adult life. His travels have followed in the footsteps of the explorers to many remote parts of the world - the Middle East, Central Asia, India, West Africa, South America, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, China, Tibet, Australia, New Zealand and various oceanic islands. His numerous excursions in search of local sources of information, the latest of which took him to the desert cities of Turkmenistan, have afforded the opportunity to add to a lifetime's accumulation of travel literature. In addition to his work on the Encyclopedia, a project that has spanned some twenty years and has resulted in his acknowledgement as one of the world's leading experts on the history of exploration, he has published the popular Book of Exploration and a biography of the traveller Gertrude Benham. He was consultant editor of The Illustrated Atlas of Exploration and has contributed articles on 'missing explorers' to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He has functioned as consultant for several television documentaries, he writes book reviews for leading journals, and has lectured on the subject of invented and imaginary travellers' tales. Ray is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an honorary member of the Travellers Club, and an honorary officer of the Hakluyt Society, editing the Journal of the Hakluyt Society, writing and maintaining the society's website, and sometimes preparing its books for publication. Born in London in 1946, he lives with his wife Pat in Caterham, Surrey.

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Having written a book on this subject (The Imaginary Sea Voyage: Sailing Away in Literature, Legend and Lore), I looked forward to reading this volume of the encyclopedia. I was not disappointed. As I can attest from my experience, the topic is a tough one to nail down; The author perforce has to dig through a potpourri of garbled voyage logs, literary artifice, outright hoax, nautical hearsay, sailors' tall tales and any combination of the foregoing. With the first three volumes of the series,Ray Howgego's task was relatively straightforward--simply work from the available literary record and set out the voyage histories. Here, one enters a realm every bit as nebulous as Odysseus's 10-year homecoming voyage, replete with religious and mythical embellishments of a kernel of half-remembered expeditions. Consider how many contemporary readers of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver saga and Daniel Defoe's Crusoe yarns thought them to be actual voyage reminiscences. The main problem is where does voyage narrative end and fiction begin? The book thus straddles the worlds of literature, legend and lore--as in the subtitle of my book. The author shows that he did a prodigious amount of research and careful sifting through the varying renditions of these half-truthful tales. Given the alphabetical format, it takes a bit of work in order to follow some threads, but the several different indices are well designed to assist the reader in cross-referencing. Most entries use the author or the notional traveler, but there are other entries on the voyages themselves or the geographical phenomena. I asked the author why he didn't include Atlantis.Read more ›
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Encyclopedia of Exploration Invented and Apocryphal Narratives of Travel
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